Having spent some time lately with Bill at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, things have changed a little from, when I was a patient in the ENT ward at old BRI a long time ago, having, what was for me, a life changing operation to straighten my squint.

I felt quite at home in that long ward with its 16 beds, as my brothers Tom, Alf and I had all been in there together, for what was then, the very common operation, taking out both your adenoids and tonsils.

By your bed was a locker and if you were one of the lucky ones it would store the goodies your mum had brought.

Breakfast was toast, but if you wanted more for your breakfast, you had to provide it, eggs or whatever and it would be cooked in the kitchen at the end of the ward, the same at tea time.

Visiting times were strictly adhered to and visitors would wait at the ward door till they got the nod to enter.

Now, lunch is chosen from a menu, and the wards are smaller.

Don’t get me wrong, the treatment I got was so wonderful I didn’t want to leave.

But I left happy, for I was now able to look people straight in the eye, magic!

Boys no longer said ‘who are you looking at me or him’ and I could look in a mirror without wincing.

*I went to a jumble sale on Saturday up at Ingleton.

It was packed with people, all looking for that certain something that was going to jump out and say ‘buy me, you know you can’t live without me.’ When I was leaving the Village Hall I thought, where else could you have so much fun and come away feeling triumphant for a couple of quid?

*On leaving hospital, a healthy lifestyle plan was discussed. The nurse said ‘Yes with a good diet you can live till your 90’.

Her young assistant chipped in ‘Who wants to live till they’re ninety?.’ ‘Someone who is eighty nine,’ was the reply.